Great Basin Brewing Company

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Great Basin Brewing Co.
Founded 1993
  • Tom Young
  • Eric McClary
Headquarters Sparks, NV, United States
Number of locations
Area served
Key people
Cameron Kelly[1]
Products Beer
Production output
7,932 barrels (2013)[2]
Owner Tom Young

Great Basin Brewing Co. is a brewery headquartered in Sparks, Nevada. It is Nevada's largest[2] and oldest currently operating brewery[3] - though not the state's longest operated.[4] Great Basin beers are available as draught beer and in bottles at over 400 locations in Northern Nevada and the surrounding regions, including Aces Ballpark. They also serve beer at many special events, such as the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off and The Great Reno Balloon Race. Growlers and kegs may be purchased or filled at any of the company's tap rooms.


The company was established in 1993 after Nevada brewers, including company founders Tom Young and Eric McClary, successfully lobbied the Nevada Legislature to allow for brewpubs in the state.[5] The original brewery and restaurant is on Victorian Square in Sparks. Their beers were winning national awards as soon as the next year.[5] The Reno location was opened in 2010 with the expectation that its added capacity would satisfy demand for the next five years.[6] Great Basin began regular bottling operations in 2011 (holiday releases had previously been available for several years, but on the scale of a few hundred bottles a year) and currently bottles three of their flagship brews.[7][8] As demand increased further, a third facility was established when Great Basin moved into the warehouse formerly occupied by the defunct Buckbean Brewery.[9] Along with the facility, they also acquired Buckbean's equipment, which was modified to meet Great Basin's needs. Taps & Tanks opened to the public at this location in 2012, and a high speed bottling line was installed there the next year - providing capacity to bottle seasonal beers. In 2014, just one year later, Great Basin bottled their millionth beer.[10] Great Basin saw increases in business every year during its first twenty years in operation.[11] Taps & Tanks no longer serves to the public due to new regulations on bars, but beer is still brewed and bottled there.


Great Basin brews several different beer styles and maintains ten to fourteen beers on tap.[12] Many of their brews are seasonal or otherwise available for a limited time. Cask conditioned, barrel aged and nitrogenated beers are available by the glass on location.


These beers are available year round.

Limited Brews[edit]

As a non-alcoholic or child-friendly alternative, Great Basin also brews their own root beer, which is available only on premises.

Use in food[edit]

Great Basin is renowned for integrating their beers into the menu items available from their kitchens[35] and offers beer braised pork, homemade beer cheese, beer batter fish and chips, chocolate brownies baked with porter, and many other dishes. They also reuse spent barley left over from mashing along with brewer's yeast in artisan bread. As a result of these and similar initiatives, 95% of Great Basin's waste output is reduced.[14]

Awards and Recognitions[edit]

Great Basin's brews have garnered several awards at many national and international beer competitions.[5][36][37]

Name Style Honors
Bitchin' Berry Fruit wheat beer 2013 Great American Beer Festival Silver
Black Rock ESB Extra Special Bitter 2001 World Beer Cup Silver
Cerveza ChileBeso Jalapeño-spiced pilsner 1999 Great American Beer Festival Gold, 1997 Great American Beer Festival Gold, 1994 Great American Beer Festival Gold
Death by Chocolate Stout Chocolate-flavored stout 2002 World Beer Cup Gold
Ichthyosaur IPA India Pale Ale 2006 World Beer Championships Silver
Jackpot Porter Porter 2012 Beverage Testing Institute 86
Nevada Gold Kölsch 2001 Beverage Testing Institute Silver
Outlaw Milk Stout[i] Sweet oatmeal stout 2014 World Beer Cup Silver, 2014 Great American Beer Festival Bronze, 2012 World Beer Cup Silver,[21] 2011 Great American Beer Festival Bronze,[38] 2008 World Beer Cup Silver,[21] 2002 World Beer Championship Silver, 2012 Beverage Testing Institute 86
Red Nose Holiday Wassail Christmas beer 2012 Beverage Testing Institute 86
Rosemary Rye Patch Rosemary-spiced rye beer 1998 Great American Beer Festival Gold
Slam Dunkel Dunkel 2008 World Beer Cup Silver, 2001 World Beer Cup Bronze, 2000 Great American Beer Festival Silver
Smokecreek Rauchbier Rauchbier 2006 Great American Beer Festival Gold
Stone Mother Märzen Märzen 2006 World Beer Championships Bronze
Whoop-Ass Witbier Witbier 2010 World Beer Cup Bronze,[39] 2013 Beverage Testing Institute 87
Wild Horse Ale Altbier-style amber ale 1995 Great American Beer Festival Bronze, 1994 Great American Beer Festival Bronze
Wild Lemon Wheat Wheat ale 2010 Great American Beer Festival Bronze[40]
  1. ^ a b Outlaw Oatmeal Stout and Outlaw Milk Stout are the same product

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Robison, Mark (7 April 2014). "Reno Rebirth: Beer, liquor makers grow in Nevada". Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Corey, Alex (9 June 2014). "Tapped in: Las Vegas brewer plans to snag blighted building to boost production". Stephens Media LLC. Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  3. ^ White, Standley. "Reno Breweries, Microbreweries, and Brewpubs". Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Carson Brewing Company". United States National Park Service. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Great Basin Brewing". Nevada Brewers Guild. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Long, Yun (29 June 2012). "Great Basin Brewing Co. moves into Buckbean space, buys equipment". Reno Gazette-Journal. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "in bottles". Great Basin Brewing. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Great Basin Brewing Company debuts full-bodied brew". KRNV News 4. 6 November 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  9. ^ Nason, Adam (26 June 2012). "Great Basin Brewing acquires Buckbean facility". Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  10. ^ Breen, Erin (13 February 2014). "Great Basin Brews Up Success". KTVN. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Breen, Erin (25 April 2013). "Great Basin Brews Up New Success With Bottles". KTVN. Retrieved 27 April 2013. 
  12. ^ on tap
  13. ^ "‘Gimme an Icky’: Great Basin launches first retail bottling". This Is Reno. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "Great Basin Brewing Company Creates Brewmaster’s Artisan "Icky" Bread". Brewers Association. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c d McKinnon, Mika. "A Triassic Beast Brews Up A Surprisingly Gentle India Pale Ale". io9. Gawker Media. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Wright, Johnathan L. (10 March 2015). "Great Basin throws March 11 release party for stouts". Gannett. Reno Gazette Journal. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  17. ^ Russell, Terri (24 July 2012). "Balloon Brew and More Expected at the Reno Balloon Race". ABC. KOLO. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  18. ^ Maddock, Cortney (27 January 2008). "Brew Haha has 'em lining up to support the arts". Sparks Daily Tribune. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  19. ^ a b c Chan, Tristan. "2013 GABF Pour List". Porch Drinking. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  20. ^ Wright, Johnathan L. (10 June 2014). "GREAT BASIN BREWING HELPS FIGHT ALS". Eating News & Notes: Win a spot in cooking class. Gannett. Reno Gazette-Journal. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f g "Welcome to the Dark Side – Great Basin Brewery Hosts Stout Week in Nevada". Brewers Association. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  22. ^ "Rising Demand For Beer Spurs Investment In New Technology". Great Basin Brewing Co. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  23. ^ a b Blanset, Todd (19 July 2012). "Great Basin Brewery: Reno's original brewpub". Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  24. ^ a b c d Weaver, Ken. "A Walking Tour of the Reno / Sparks Beer Scene (Part 1)". Hop Press. Archived from the original on 20 September 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  25. ^ a b Barnes, Bob. "Nevada Beer Nuggets". Celebrator (December 2007/January 2008). Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  26. ^ a b c "Brewery Scene Hopping In Reno-Tahoe". Reno Tahoe USA. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  27. ^ Zielinski, Sarah (14 December 2012). "Brewers Prepare Beer For The End Of Time, Mayan Or Otherwise". NPR. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  28. ^ a b "Great Basin Brewing Company Brews Up IPApril". WorldNow and Sarkes Tarzian, Inc. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  29. ^ "Great Basin Brewing Company Creates Egyptian Ale". Brewers Association. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  30. ^ "Sierra Green Business Connection begins Tuesday". Tahoe Daily Tribune. 15 February 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  31. ^ "Saving Nevada’s open spaces one beer at a time". Sparks Daily Tribune. 5 April 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  32. ^ "Great Basin Brewing Co. rolls out Red Nose Holiday Wassail, beer brittle for the holidays". This Is Reno. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  33. ^ "Great Basin Brewing Company opens new location in Reno with Saturday parade". This Is Reno. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  34. ^ Kerlin, Kat (12 June 2008). "Green beer". News & Review. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  35. ^ Greenspan, Catherine (2 January 2003). "Beyond the brews". News & Review. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  36. ^ "World Beer Cup Past Winners". Brewers Association. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  37. ^ "Great American Beer Festival Winners". Brewers Association. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  38. ^ "Outlaw Oatmeal Stout wins bronze at beer festival". Sparks Daily Tribune. 12 October 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  39. ^ Maddock, Cortney (14 May 2010). "Local breweries see award-winning boost". Sparks Daily Tribune. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  40. ^ "GABF Winners 2010". Retrieved 9 April 2013. 

Coordinates: 39°32′06″N 119°45′15″W / 39.535009°N 119.754151°W / 39.535009; -119.754151